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Rare Italian Dog Breeds Strut Their Stuff in Celebration of Meet the Breeds Event


New York, NYThe American Kennel Club® (AKC) is proud to once again announce its participation in the 66th Annual Columbus Day Parade, the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American culture, on Monday, October 11th from noon to 3:00 p.m. on Fifth Avenue between 47th and 79th streets. For the second year in a row the AKC will march proudly with rare Italian dog breeds in recognition of Italy’s great contributions to the dog world and to celebrate the upcoming Meet the Breeds™ event at the Javits Center on October 16th and 17th where pet lovers can meet over 200 breeds of dog and cat.

The nearly one million parade spectators will enjoy a contingency of over 30 marchers and 15 furry friends including the Bergamasco, an ancient shepherding breed with a striking coat of dense, flat mats that reach the ground; as well as the Cirneco dell’Etna, an ancient dog used in Sicily for rabbit hunting; the Lagotto Romagnolo, a dog from Northwest Italy with thick curly hair and a history dating back to the 16th century and the only two native Italian gun-dog breeds, the Bracco Italiano and Spinone Italiano.

“It is an honor to again participate in this New York City tradition,” said Gina DiNardo, spokesperson for Meet the Breeds. “Parade spectators will be treated to breeds native to Italy that are becoming more popular in U.S. The owners and breeders of these dogs are proud to celebrate their heritage and invite those who want to learn more to come visit these dogs at Meet the Breeds at the Javits Center.”

The Meet the Breeds event will give pet lovers a chance to meet all of these breeds and more on October 16th and 17th.  The family-friendly event will feature more than 200 dog and cat breed booths individually decorated depicting the history of the breed—Giant Mastiffs in a medieval castle, Norwegian Elkhounds on a Viking ship, and Russian Blue cats in an Imperial Palace are only a few of the booths that were at last year’s event.  The event also provides potential pet owners the chance to play with more than 1,000 dogs and cats in person and learn about responsible ownership from the experts.